My latest book, The Rise of the Blogosphere: American Backgrounds is now available.
A couple of years ago, on re-reading parts of Alexis de Toqueville’s Democracy in America, I was shocked by the similarity between his depiction of the press in America around 1830 and contemporary descriptions of the blogs. A little exploration showed me that, indeed, the American press—up to the time of the “penny press” and the technological changes in the printing industry in the 1840s—had once been very blog-like in nature. I wasn’t the only one to notice this; by now, it has become something of a commonplace in discussion of the blogs. Ultimately, what interested me more was this:
What happened in the meantime? Why had we lost our raucous press and why was something so similar in content appearing now?
The Rise of the Blogosphere is my attempt to answer these questions. It begins with a short examination of the colonial press. Other early chapters take the reader through the press of the early years of our republic—and then through its explosion into commercialization and professionalization. Here’s the Table of Contents:
1 THE CONCEPTION OF A POPULAR AMERICAN PRESS
2 THE RISE OF ADVOCACY JOURNALISM
3 DEBATE IN THE EARLY AMERICAN PRESS
4 THE VICTORY FOR RIGHTS OF THE PRESS
5 THE HEYDAY OF THE PARTISAN PRESS
6 THE RISE OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISM
7 THE CREATION OF PRESS EMPIRES
8 DOMINATION OF THE PRESS BY ELECTRONIC MEDIA
9 ALTERNATIVE JOURNALISM
10 THE FAILURE OF THE AMERICAN NEWS MEDIA
11 THE MOVEMENT TOWARD PUBLIC JOURNALISM
12 THE GROWTH OF THE DISCUSSION BOARD AND THE BIRTH OF THE BLOGS
13 9/11 AND THE RISE OF THE BLOGOSPHERE
14 RESEARCH, RATHERGATE, AND THE POWER OF THE BLOGS
15 POLITICAL RECLAMATION AND CITIZEN JOURNALISM
I wish there were a paperback edition, but there isn’t. If you don’t want to pay the almost $50 price, speak to your local librarian and ask that the book be ordered. My publisher focuses on sales to libraries, so convincing them to get it shouldn’t be too difficult, as they may regularly order from Praeger or its sister press (Greenwood) anyway.